It is in the nature of writing historical narratives that the main sources of information are institutional records of all types, media reports, correspondence, photographs, and a wide range of other “archival materials.” Within that cache, most documents are created when history was in the making, and events are taking place, but quite often well before any historian has taken an interest in the topic and begins his or her research into “what took place” and “when and who were involved.” Of course, by that time, most, if not all, those persons “who were involved” have passed away. So it is the archives that must be relied upon.
For the Becker Chronicle, the firm's archives were the main source of information augmented by news stories in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, many obituaries, and the author's memories, among other supplements. However, this aggregate of information was in many cases added to by email messages from and phone conversations with living, former Becker employees or their relatives – typically involving persons employed at Becker from 1970 forward. I am hopeful that when all such persons read the Chronicle, they will register their presence, and even share their own memories in the Comments/Reflections feature.
As noted, many people helped with information for the Chronicle through emails or phone conversations. Special thanks to the following persons for providing information which was useful in authoring the Chronicle or who otherwise helped me track down other useful sources of such information.
Apologies and thanks to any persons with whom I had contact if their name is not listed below.
Before I left Becker, the following persons provided me with their written comments and memories of A.G. Becker - the man and the early business: Hal Ahlberg, Dave Dattelbaum, Maury Cann, Sr., and Herb Schaffner. Vince Flett kindly provided a written summary of his time with the firm. Bill Kabacker sent me a short but nicely informative note when he heard about the project. All these persons are now deceased.
Barry Friedberg, Randy Harris, and Dan Good provided me their memories of activities and developments in the firm from the time I left (end of year, 1981) until they left (Dan) or until the sale to Merrill Lynch (Barry and Randy).
Special thanks to some “old timers” who had some old memories to share about former employees: Bill Cockrum, Roger Brown, and John and Jane Colman.
The following persons were relatives or friends of deceased Becker persons who kindly provided information about their spouse or other relative or friend (as noted in the parenthesis): John Ackerman (Jim Ackerman); Louise Arias (Salvo and Bob Arias); Arther Winter (Stanley Winter); Dolores Pearson (Alwin, Bob, and Don Pearson); David Langum (John Langum); Mrs. William Leddy (Bill Leddy); Kate Morrison (Bill Morrison); Carl Stern (Carl Sr. and David Stern), Dick Barzin (Irv Sherman), Tom Robinson (Ted Robinson), Mimi Congdon (James P. Lewis), Hortense Becker (Jim Becker and A. G. Becker); Marne and Herbert Friedlich (A.G. Becker); John Bernardi (A.G. Becker), Don Hahn (self and Lou Holland), and Phil Oppenheimer (self and Jack Hyland).
With Dave Peterson and Stu Gassel gone, the following were helpful as regards to funds evaluation personnel and developments: Bob Brehm, Bob George, Tony Cashen, Harty McKeown, Al Pisterzi, and George Baxter.
It was good to talk about research and institutional personnel with Don Hahn and Paul Blaney; about Credit Securities people with Tom York, and Operations people with Ray Holland.
I thank Phil Alexander for his own personal data and for putting me on to Marvin Letwat who contributed some valuable documents to the Archives and to the story.
Philip Oppenheimer and Charles Hale were invaluable sources of information about themselves and others.
It was very good to talk or message directly with Dick Frodsham, Roger Vasey, Jim Ledinsky, Bob Karlborm, Bob Nau, Jerry Beebe, John Levy, Dave Scholl, Milt Walters, Tank Schiavoni, Dave Simpson, John Mabie, Hans Mosiman, Jordie Bloom, Pierre Bottinelli, Jack Cunningham, Joe Goeschl, Doug Robbins, and Linda Yoder.
And special thanks go to my assistant, Mary Anne Donahue, for timely and extensive editing, and assistance in the extensive hyperlinking which the Chronicle required, and to my webmaster, Steve Starr, who worked with me from inception to create a website with good intuition and navigation through which to best present the A.G. Becker Chronicle.
Warmest thanks to the Newberry Library, and especially Martha Briggs, for receiving and husbanding the Becker Archives and making them so readily available to me for my research, and for future generations.
Last but clearly not least, my thanks go to my dear wife, Mary Ann, who sacrificed many days and evenings so that I could concentrate on the Becker Chronicle, and to my children and grandchildren, who, with knowing smiles, tolerated my telling many Becker stories more than once.
Thanks to all!
Paul R. Judy, March, 2018